Commerzbank 4Q earnings slide as loan provisions swell

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Commerzbank reported a 5 per cent drop in its earnings in the fourth quarter, as Germany’s second largest lender stocked up its provisions against bad shipping loans.

In the three months to the end of December, Commerzbank made a net profit of €183m, down from €193m in the same period a year earlier. Analysts had expected €154m, according to a Reuters poll.

Commerzbank said that it had boosted its provisions for loan losses by €290m in the quarter, a sharp jump from the €112m the bank set aside in the same quarter a year earlier. The bank warned that it expected to take a further €450m to €600m in provisions for its maritime lending this year.

For the year as a whole the bank, which is embarking on a multi-year restructuring drive under new chief executive Martin Zielke, posted a net profit of €279m, down from €1.08bn in 2015, mainly as a result of big restructuring charges taken in the third quarter

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